Concerts, a hot dog-eating contest, swimming and fireworks – Visitors will have a plethora of events to choose from on July 4 as the resort and its surrounding communities celebrate Independence Day.
The free concert on the beach at North Division Street in downtown Ocean City will feature, OH BOY! A tribute to America at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 4. OH BOY! is a four-piece band from Rehoboth Beach, Del. and will perform rockabilly music and patriotic anthems. Fireworks will follow at approximately 9:30 p.m. The show will be visible from all along the Boardwalk and beach and viewers are encouraged to bring blankets or chairs.
The Regal Beagles will perform at 8 p.m. on Thursday at Northside Park on 125th Street. The band will perform “yacht rock” music from the 70s and 80s during the free show. Fireworks will be shot from the west side of the park around 9:30 p.m.
“Both bands have a great audience base and they are really high energy,” said David Rohman, operations manager for the special events division of the Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department.
Parking for both events will be limited and visitors are encouraged to arrive early and to consider using the bus. Guests can ride all day for $3 or pay $1 per boarding. Buses operate 24 hours a day. For more information about the activities, call the recreation department at 410-250-0125, department of tourism at 1-800-626-2326 or visit www.ococean.com.
–Hot dog-eating contest:
Fish Tales Bar & Grill will present its sixth annual “Top Dog” hot dog-eating contest on Thursday, July 4, at 1 p.m. Anyone 18 and older may stop by the 22nd Street bayside bar until the day of the contest to qualify by speedily consuming five deli-style hot dogs and buns. A Fish Tales representative will time each participants and the 20 people with the fastest times will move on to the finals.
The cost to qualify is a $5 donation, which will go toward the prize money.
A stage for competitors and bleachers for spectators will be set up in Fish Tales’ parking lot. Hot dogs will be available for purchase during the event. Fish Tales, Coors Light and Dietz and Watson are sponsoring the event.
Brandon Hemp, Fish Tales manager and contest coordinator, said last year’s winner ate 35 hot dogs in 10 minutes and went home with $1,000 and a trophy.
“You can separate the dogs and the buns, dunk it in water, squish it, break it, it doesn’t matter,” Hemp said. “Anything that is in your mouth at the end of the time is good, you just have to eat it.”
DJ BK will emcee the competition. The winner of the contest will receive $1,000 and a trophy and cash prizes will be awarded to the second- and third-place finishers.
For more information, call Fish Tales at 410-289-0990 or visit www.ocfishtales.com.
Ocean Pines residents will be able to celebrate Independence Day at the Sports Core Pool for the “All-American Day” activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m with swimming, music, face painting, games, prizes, food and obstacle courses. A wristband, which costs $5, is available for unlimited play on the moon bounce and water slides, including a five-story shark that is new this year. The relay and obstacle course is free. Carnival games will be ticketed and visitors with a pool membership will be admitted into the event at no charge. Adults without memberships will be required to pay $7 and children aged 5-17, $5. Add $1 for non-residents.
–OPA Freedom 5K:
Participants of the 5k will run around the Ocean Pines South Gate Pond on July 4 at 8 a.m. The cost to register by Monday, July 1 is $25 per runner, which includes a T-shirt, hospitality area and a free wristband for the “All-American Day” activities. Day-of registration begins at 7 a.m. and the costs $35. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Home of the Brave Inc., which provides a vacation home and helps with entertaining activities for returning soldiers and their families.
Runners will race around the South Gate Pone, up Manklin Creek Road and finish at the Veterans Memorial. Each runner will be timed by OC Tri-Running, who will use computer chip timing techniques.
Plaques will be awarded to the overall top male and female finishers as well as the top three male and female finishers in each age group.
For more information about the OPA Freedom 5k race, call the Ocean Pines Community Center at 410-641-7052.
A fireworks display will take place at the Showell Park, located across from the Showell Elementary School on Route 589. The event will begin at dusk, around 9:15 p.m. Spectators are encouraged to bring a blanket or chair and admission is free.
Free parking will be available at Showell Elementary, Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic School, St. John Neumann Catholic Church, Community Church at Ocean Pines and The Pavilions. Visitors are encouraged to watch the display from these locations. For more information call 410641-7052.
–Sturgis Park events:
The seventh annual Canoe Joust will take place on Saturday, July 6, at 11:30 a.m. at Sturgis Park on River Street. The Snow Hill Volunteer Fire Department sponsors the event and registration will begin at 10 a.m.
The Volunteers of The United States Army Field Band will perform at 5 p.m. during the family activities, which include moon bounces, face painting, boat rides and vendors. A deejay will play music until the fireworks display begins at dusk.
The fireworks will be shot from Byrd Park over the Pocomoke River. Visitors are encouraged to watch from Sturgis Park and take blankets or chairs. Neon bracelets and glow sticks will be sold by the Purnell Museum at the free event. For more information, call 410-632-2080.